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My Favorite Movie of All-Time

posted by Emerson on 8/14/01

When I’m checking out the newspaper, trying to figure out what movie I’m going to see over the weekend, I usually like to head over to Ebert’s section of the paper and see how he’s rated all the pictures currently out.  A lot of people do this, but what they don’t know is that Ebert, in order to preserve his image as a tight-ass with no sense of humor who couldn’t laugh in fear of farting, has setup his ratings system to trick everyone into seeing shitty movies.  Here is a decoded version of Ebert’s “Star System”

****(4 Stars)--Jesus, do NOT go see this movie unless you are very old, have no taste whatsoever, and want people to make fun of you (Example: The English Patient)

***(3 Stars)--This movie may have one good part, but that’s highly debatable (Example: The Thin Red Line)

**(2 Stars)--This movie has multiple redeeming qualities, is probably very funny, and should be viewed more than once. (Example: BASEketball)

*(1 Star)--See.  This.  Movie.  At.  All.  Costs.  (Example: Um, most of the comedies that came out in the last year or two.)

A couple years ago, Ebert screwed up.  He gave a movie four stars...and it was the bestest movie ever.  Ever.  I don’t know what he was thinking, maybe since it’s more of a romantic comedy that a straight-out dick-and-fart-joke gag-fest, he upped the ante and gave it his highest rating.

That's the worst sweater I've ever seen. That's a Cosby sweater. A Caahhhsby sweatahhh!”

Oh yeah, baby, High Fidelity is all you need.

The premise of the movie is simple:  This is what guys go through after a bad breakup.  While most chest-thumping Neanderthals would disagree, it’s the f-ing truth.  The stellar cast is lead by one John Cusack, my favorite actor, and all around mopey dude.  Cusack plays Rob Gordon, a record store owner who can narrow down any subject in life into a Top 5 list. Most of the Top 5 Lists revolve around music.  Top 5 records to have on a deserted island, Top 5 side 1, track 1 songs.  Top 5 songs about Death.  It branches out a bit, into Top 5’s such as the Top 5 dream jobs, and the list this movie is based around, Rob Gordon’s Top 5 breakups.  In recounting his #1 breakup, he gives us these insightful words:

It would be nice to think that since I was 14, times have changed. Relationships have become more sophisticated. Females less cruel. Skins thicker. Instincts more developed. But there seems to be an element of that afternoon in everything that's happened to me since. All my romantic stories are a scrambled version of that first one.

Rob (Cusack) owns a record store in Chicago, in a district he chose because it “attracts the least number of window shoppers”.  He is a music elitist, and caters vinyl to an elitist crowd.  It seems to be a successful business venture, as a major metropolitan area like Chicago would give you the customer base you would need for such an undertaking.  And when I say elitist, I mean it, check out this dialogue:

Rob: Liking both Marvin Gaye and Art Garfunkel is like supporting both the Israelies and the Palestinians.
Laura:  No, it's really not, Rob. You know why? Because Marvin Gaye and Art Garfunkel make pop records.
Rob: Made! Made! Marvin Gaye is dead, his father shot him.

Sure, we all know that, but how many of us would correct the girl on the past tense of the word ‘make’?  It’s little things like that that bug me, but it’s Cusack, so I’ll get over it.  He also has two music elitists working for him, and one of them helps make the movie a classic.  Hint: It’s the fat one.

Barry: Holy shite. What the fuck is that?
Dick:  It's the new Belle and Sebastian--
Rob: It's a record we've been listening to and enjoying, Barry.
Barry:  Well, that's unfortunate, because it sucks ass!

In Rob’s own words to describe his friends/employees...

I can't fire them. I hired these guys for three days a week and they just started showing up every day. That was four years ago.

Over the course of the movie you hear about his Top 5 breakups, and how Laura, the current one, doesn’t even rate.  Maybe she could squeak into the Top 10, but that’s pushing it.  Here are the Top 5, going from memory.

1.) Alison Ashmore.  This is the girl he had a relationship with for six hours.  2 hours after school, before the Rockford Files, every day for three days.  On the fourth day, however, tragedy struck.  Rob went to his normal make-out place, behind the bleachers by the baseball field, only to find Alison making out with Kevin Bannister.  Ouch.  Years later he calls her, getting her mother, and finds out that she married “her first boyfriend, Kevin”.  Double-ouch.  Rob tries to explain to Alison’s mother (Fun Fact!: Who, by the way, sounds EXACTLY like Dave’s mother, I shit you not) that he was Alison’s first boyfriend, to which she replies “Okay Bob, I have to go now” and takes a big swig from a glass of wine. 


2.)  Penny Hardwick.  His high-school girlfriend, who looked to be his complete opposite.  The reason for their breakup?  The relationship “never went anywhere”, a.k.a. she didn’t put out.  We’ll let Rob explain:

Sometimes I got so bored of trying to touch her breast that I would try to touch her between her legs. It was like trying to borrow a dollar, getting turned down, and asking for 50 grand instead.

How can you not like him?  Sorry.  So he breaks up with her and later finds out she sleeps with some slimey dude on like the third date.  Instant deflation.

3.) Sarah.  These two got together because they were both on the rebound from bad relationships/breakups.  Supposedly they were together just so neither would have to be alone.  Then Sarah found somebody else, and it’s goodbye to Rob.

What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?

4.)  Charlie Nichols.  Played by Catherine-Zeta Jones! America’s Sweethartz!!111  OMG!  Apparently he’s not hot enough for her.  I’ll not get into the semantics of it, just watch the f-ing movie.

5.) Not important, she gets replaced by Laura.

So Rob decides to call up these girls, and try to figure out what he did in each relationship to make them not want him anymore, and use said information to cure himself so he won’t be such a relationship fuck-up anymore.  He has problems, being in a relationship, mostly because other girls are just so darn cute.  Rob comes upon a revelation of sorts, when the time comes that he can get back together with Laura:

“Should I bolt every time I get that feeling in my gut when I meet someone new? Well, I've been listening to my gut since I was 14 years old, and frankly speaking, I've come to the conclusion that my guts have shit for brains.”


Top 5 Scenes From High Fidelity

5.)  Rob, outside Charlie’s apartment, where inside she’s screwing Marco from her Design class at college, standing in the rain, and screams, “Charlie! You fucking bitch! Let’s work it out!”

4.)  Inside the record store, Championship Vinyl, one Saturday.  Rob tells Dick that he’s going to sell 5 copies of The Beta Band’s 3 EPs.  Just watch the scene, the song sucks you in.  BTW, the Beta Band song is “Dry The Rain”, go download it from

3.)  Rob is worried about Laura possibly having slept with the new guy she’s living with.  Her exact words were “We haven’t slept together yet” and he’s wondering if maybe that means she WANTS to sleep with him.  He asks Barry for advice, saying “What would you think if I told you ‘I haven’t seen Evil Dead 2, yet’”.  Barry’s reply?  “I’d say you were a cinematic idiot.” 


2.)  All three guys are working quietly when Laura’s new boyfriend, a Steven Seagal/conflict resolution-type loser, played to perfection by Tim Robbins, enters the store.  He is there to confront Rob about harassing himself and Laura, and is the funniest scene in the movie.  You are guaranteed to LOL!!!111

1.)  The end of the movie.  Jack Black sings.  All you need to know.

We're no longer called Sonic Death Monkey. We're on the verge of becoming Kathleen Turner Overdrive, but just for tonight, we are Barry Jive and his Uptown Five.

Now go watch it! I’m serious!  If you don’t, I’ll tie you down and cover you with Ring-Dings, and you know who loves Ring-Dings!

I’m currently taking applications for Fan Club President.  I need a fan club, even though I’m not as pretty as Dave. :(

Also, if anyone can think of something for me to write about, send it in.  I’ve got plenty of ideas, but what do YOU people want to see?

If I was a camgirl, I’d insert my wishlist here.  LOL!!!111

AIM: Suicide King Mob
“Dude, that girl is 13 years old.”
“Yeah, finally!”

Sorry, Lane, we Japanese aren't big fans of your work.




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